We may get to hit our friends on the track, but even derby girls deal with stress. Check out these great stress-busting tips from our Wellness Director, Swedish Paincake!
Managing stress in your life is all about taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, schedule and the way you go about handling problems. Below are a few great ways to bust stress (certainly not a complete list). Some of the ideas take practice and require some commitment on your part to see results. The results are worth the effort.
Progressive relaxation – release the tension in your muscles. Try this: Lie on your back. Start from your head, tensing and relaxing muscles of the face and then move to the jaw, neck, chest, arms, abdomen, upper legs, lower legs, feet and toes. Once the body is relaxed, the mind will be soon to follow.
Breathing – when you feel that you are dwelling on upsetting thoughts simply focus your attention to your breathing and you will move in the direction of relaxation.
Aromatherapy – Studies suggest aromatherapy can be a good way to relieve stress. Lavender has been consistently shown to reduce stress levels.
Simplify and Prioritize – Try to cut down the never ending to-do list by asking “will I die tomorrow if this doesn’t get done?”. You can assign a number from 1 to 10, 10 being the most important and 1 being some stupid thing you signed up for, to everything on your to-do list. Start with the 10’s and you may not get past the 7’s, but that is okay.
Laugh it off – Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress on the body.
Exercise – Exercise is a long-term benefit to stress, but can also be used in an acute situation. When you are upset or angry try a brisk walk or put your skates on. Exercise is a great way to burn up excess energy, but doesn’t teach you how to process stress differently. So, try this as a complement to another technique, like breathing or visualization.
Try guided visualization – Visualizing a calm or peaceful scene may help reduce stress and ease anxiety. Try to recall a scene from the past when you were content, secure and centered. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and picture yourself back there. Try to make the image bright and clear and try to hear, feel and smell the surroundings. How long you focus on it is less important than how regularly you do it – a few minutes every day practicing your visualization will bring greater benefits than if you spend an hour at it every so often.
Get a massage – It may do more than alleviate physical pain. Studies suggest massage may also be beneficial for fighting stress.
Take a nap – Napping has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which aids in stress relief.
Hug it out – Hugging may actually reduce blood pressure and stress levels in adults.
Sell the cape – At this point you probably realize that you are not a superhero and you don’t have supernatural powers. So, surrender to limitations and real conditions.
Build Boundaries – Try to designate a place and time for certain day to day activities. This way your brain doesn’t have to wear so many hats all the time.
Hang with your pet – Dog owners have been shown to be less stressed out— most likely thanks to having a buddy to cuddle. Cats, goats, horses are all likely to have similar effects.
Write it out – Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects. A gratitude journal can help us put things in perspective, so pick a time every day to write down a few things that make you happy.
Think Globally – The things that we stress about on a daily basis are often pretty minor compared to something like poverty in Africa. So, don’t sweat the small stuff.